Now Playing: 11-21-11 Marketplace

The super committee has failed to reach a deficit-cutting deal. The rising price of food is making it difficult for food banks this holiday season. Environmental organizations like the Sierra Club are also having a hard time getting funding. Author Jeffrey Eugenides talks about work in the first of a weeklong series on how writers document the economy. And Mitchell Hartman takes a look at the recession in California's Inland Empire.